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Earth of fire

Actualité volcanique, Articles de fond sur étude de volcan, tectonique, récits et photos de voyage

Publié le par Bernard Duyck
Publié dans : #Excursions et voyages

La route des laves is a great natural theater, where the earth regularly gives fire performances. Each lava flow is an event that reminds men of the challenges they face in living on the territory of an active volcano. "
(Michel Sicre, poet, watercolorist, interpreter of heritages in the National Park)

Aerial view of the Route des Laves, at the ramparts of the Tremblet and 2007 lava flows - doc Imazpress Réunion

Aerial view of the Route des Laves, at the ramparts of the Tremblet and 2007 lava flows - doc Imazpress Réunion

On the east coast, along the Grand Brûlé dominated by the Piton of La Fournaise, the Route des laves winds its way up and down, trying to adapt itself to the terrain modeled by the lava flows that crossed it in their way to the ocean.
It is the place of some great anger of La Fournaise.

Jace illustrates, with his gouzous, the Cyclopean anger of the Fournaise - Le Tremblet, electric cabin - photo © Bernard Duyck / June 2017

Jace illustrates, with his gouzous, the Cyclopean anger of the Fournaise - Le Tremblet, electric cabin - photo © Bernard Duyck / June 2017

Piton of La Fournaise - Route of the lava / Grand Brûlé - 2004 lava flows - photo © Bernard Duyck / June 2017

Piton of La Fournaise - Route of the lava / Grand Brûlé - 2004 lava flows - photo © Bernard Duyck / June 2017

Piton of La Fournaise - Route of the lava / Grand Brûlé - 2004 lava flows - photo © Bernard Duyck / June 2017

Piton of La Fournaise - Route of the lava / Grand Brûlé - 2004 lava flows - photo © Bernard Duyck / June 2017

September 2004: La Fournaise flows into the sea - doc.archives Aquariomania

September 2004: La Fournaise flows into the sea - doc.archives Aquariomania

The 2004 lava flows enlarge the island by nine hectares.
On 13 August around 2 pm, La Fournaise erupts. It is not very violent, but the lava flows spread over several kilometers in favor of the Great Slopes. On August 22, the lava crosses the RN2 in four places, and arrived at the ocean on August 25th. Huge clouds of toxic vapors and jets of lava complete the picture.
An exceptional event occurred on August 31: a cone appeared at the edge of the platform of the first flow in the ocean, and projected lava and steam. The eruption stops on September 2 ... to resume two days later, and suddenly stop September 9.
Ten years later, there are lava flows 2004 colonized by mosses and pioneer plants.

Piton of La Fournaise - Route of the lava / Grand Brûlé - 2007 lava flows -  photo © Bernard Duyck / June 2017

Piton of La Fournaise - Route of the lava / Grand Brûlé - 2007 lava flows -  photo © Bernard Duyck / June 2017

In 2007, Le Piton de La Fournaise has a terrible anger ... it is "the eruption of the century" !
 
Between April 2 and May 1, lava fountains burst everywhere, and the lava flows gone down the Grandes Pentes and into the ocean. At the end of a month of eruption, the volume of lavas emitted would be about 120 million m³; The flows reach 60 meters in height, filled with cavities and tunnels, and a width of 1,700 meters.

Piton of La Fournaise - 05.04.2007 - photo Th.Staudacher OVPF

Piton of La Fournaise - 05.04.2007 - photo Th.Staudacher OVPF

Piton of La Fournaise - 06.04.2007 - the lava flows cut the RN2 - photo OVPF

Piton of La Fournaise - 06.04.2007 - the lava flows cut the RN2 - photo OVPF

Map of lava flows issued since 1998. The eruptive flows of April 2007 have an outline marked in black. The shore line before the April 2007 eruption is marked in black. Slag cones are indicated in brown, eruptive cracks in black (after A.Peltier (2007)

Map of lava flows issued since 1998. The eruptive flows of April 2007 have an outline marked in black. The shore line before the April 2007 eruption is marked in black. Slag cones are indicated in brown, eruptive cracks in black (after A.Peltier (2007)

Piton de La Fournaise - 04.2007 - Fountains of lava, flowing on the Grand Brûlé and entrance of lava at sea - photo V.Bouget

Piton de La Fournaise - 04.2007 - Fountains of lava, flowing on the Grand Brûlé and entrance of lava at sea - photo V.Bouget

Piton de La Fournaise pictures - 05/04/2007 - photo OVPF

Piton de La Fournaise pictures - 05/04/2007 - photo OVPF

As a result of this drainage, a major collapse alters the Dolomieu crater.
"On the morning of April 5, you could have walked inside the Dolomieu," recalls Nicolas Villeneuve; 48 hours later, he had collapsed about 350 meters. It is a first: never has such an important collapse been observed by man at Piton de la Fournaise.


The damage to the road infrastructure is enormous, and it took 7 months of studies and work to reopen the road to the lava.

Piton de La Fournaise - before and after the great collapsus in the crater Dolomieu - photos OVPF (in reversed positions)
Piton de La Fournaise - before and after the great collapsus in the crater Dolomieu - photos OVPF (in reversed positions)

Piton de La Fournaise - before and after the great collapsus in the crater Dolomieu - photos OVPF (in reversed positions)

Piton de La Fournaise – travaux de réfection de la RN2 - archives guides-Réunion

Piton de La Fournaise – travaux de réfection de la RN2 - archives guides-Réunion

Sources:
- Furnace info - The eruption of April 2007 - link

- Imazpress - It happened on April 5, 2007 - The collapse of the Dolomieu and the eruption of the century told in 78 photos - link

NB: the short descriptions of the eruptions and lava flows 2004 and 2007 are only a brief summary and are not meant to be a detailed description.

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